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Admiring the full moon and eating moon cake (Beginner)

Sep. 14, 2016
admire the moon

Key Learning Points (Preview): 赏月 (shǎngyuè): v. to admire the full moon

月饼 (yuèbǐng): n. moon cake

On Mid-autumn Festival, the custom of “赏月 (shǎngyuè) admiring the full moon” began with people in ancient China, and is still maintained. In the Zhou Dynasty, on the night of the Mid-autumn Festival, people would offer sacrifices to the moon with “月饼(yuèbǐng) moon cake” and fruit that was in season such as watermelon, apples and so on. During the Song Dynasty, the wealthy people would admire the full moon in their pavilions with their families. After the Ming and Qing Dynasties, moon cake became a necessary part of admiring the full moon. Now we know that moon cakes were first used as a sacrifice. Gradually, people combined moon cakes with “赏月 (shǎngyuè) admiring the moon” to mean family “团圆 (tuányuán) reunion.”

moon cake

What’s especially important in moon cakes is the “馅儿 (xiànr) filling.” The traditional fillings are sweetened bean paste, sesame, sugar etc. Now the concept of moon cake fillings has been updated to better reflect modern times. The fillings can be fruits, meat and so on. It is for sure that you will find a style that you love to eat. There are also different designs on the moon cake. These designs are generally related to the topic of reunion. So on Mid-autumn Festival, people also give moon cakes to their relatives and friends with best wishes.

Key Learning Points:

1. 赏月 (shǎngyuè): v. to admire the full moon

Example:

Zhōngqiūjié nà tiān, wǒmen yìjiārén zǒng huì zài yuànzi lǐ shǎngyuè.
中秋节         那天, 我们     一家人   总     会 在    院子 里   赏月。
On Mid-autumn Festival, our family always admires the full moon in the yard.

2. 月饼 (yuèbǐng): n. moon cake

Dialogue:

Lisa: Wǒ xǐhuan chī shuǐguǒ xiànr de yuèbǐng. Nǐ ne?
Lisa: 我   喜欢   吃  水果    馅儿   的    月饼。你 呢?
Lisa: I love the moon cake with the fruit filling. And you?

Wang Hong: Wǒ bǐjiào xǐhuan ròu xiànr de.
Wang Hong:  我   比较  喜欢    肉   馅儿  的。
Wang Hong:  I prefer the meat filling.

Quiz:
1. What Chinese people eat during Mid-Autumn Day?

A. 面条 (miàntiáo)
B. 月饼 (yuèbǐng)
C. 饺子 (jiǎozi)
D. 粽子 (zòngzi)
See Answer Analysis

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